The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook by Randolph Hock

This book provides researchers with tools and strategies to explore alternate “web terrains.” The introduction contains a very brief internet history, the principles of search algorithms and WebCrawlers. The main purpose of the book is to share the little known “underworld “of the internet, variously known as Deep Web, Invisible Web or Hidden Web.  This “underworld,” invisible to search engines, is estimated to have 200 – 500 times the content of the visible web.

The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook provides information on the retrieval of old web pages,  gives pointers on the confusing world of copyright laws for the cyber world and provides references on how to keep internet resources and tools up to date.  It covers best syntax, Boolean search and the use of “*” as a word ending and for wildcard searches. There is a very good chapter on “phrase searching,” advising against writing full sentences or “How do I….?”, as inexperienced internet searchers often do.

Author Hock includes a summary of the best directories and resources for specific subject areas such as education, politics, economics, finance, travel, government, and international resources. He also lists several metasearch engines, alternative web search engines (and there are dozens of them), including a brief analysis of each one’s advantages.

The book provides addresses of tech message boards and mailing lists; includes the “Netiquette” rules and teaches the reader how to assess the quality of found content. It also shares search engines’ collection strategies of the built-in relevance ranking.

I originally selected this book to learn more about the “hidden/invisible web” searches. It did not tell me much more then I already knew, but it could be a good source for people new to internet searches. It explains well why there is more to the virtual world than Google. This is the 3rd edition, published in 2010, so new Web 3.0 concepts are missing.


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